Date(s) - 03/11/2019
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Hilton Garden Inn
4328 Garden Vista Dr.
Riverview, FL, 33578
TECO is proposing the largest fossil fuel expansion in county history. This hearing is your chance to stand up to TECO’s plans for nearly $1 Billion to pay for a fracked gas expansion.
If you are confused as to why TECO would be so slow to follow the global trend of divesting from dirty, dangerous fuels like gas and coal, and investing instead in clean, cheap renewables like solar, my best advice to you is follow the money.
TECO was recently purchased by Emera — a Canadian company — that also bought TECO’s affiliate Peoples Gas. Emera has made huge commitments to clean energy everywhere it operates besides Florida. In Nova Scotia they have a renewable energy goal of 40% by 2020 and in Barbados they have a clean energy commitment of 100% by 2045. But here in Hillsborough County, Emera is trying to exploit Florida’s “constructive regulatory environment.” Meaning, they think they can get away with pushing dirty, dangerous fracked gas — and basically they would double dip by earning profits on transporting the gas (via Peoples) and burning the gas (via TECO).
Their presentations to their investors make clear that they see Florida as a cash cow — a place where they can put profits ahead of the public interest. In this moment today, the stakes couldn’t be higher. In monetary terms. we are talking about almost a billion dollars of public money– those bills go straight to customers. I haven’t even reached the resulting climate damages. Those damages can and have been translated into dollars — millions of dollars of lost tourism dollars, lost agricultural productivity, and so on. The environmental destruction is huge and costly.
TECO just last week announced they are raising rates this year by 4% due to increases in the cost of fracked gas. Why would we lock ourselves into 30-40 years of more fracked gas when TECO Director Mark Ward admits that gas pricing could swing drastically in the near future.
To further add insult to injury, TECO’s plans to raise key infrastructure at their facility by 14 feet and build 20 foot sea walls to deal with rising sea levels. So while they are prepping for climate change, they are asking for $898 million dollars from its customers to keep polluting and creating more sea level rise.
We must demand better from our utility. We must act now to protect our environment. We need clean, renewable energy now!